It’s time for us to leave that safe nest in which we’ve healed, and facing that reality is causing fears and darkness to percolate from the dust of the temporary calm. Terrible, stultifying fears— things that terrify and leave my heart raw and vulnerable. I tell myself I’m brave, and that’s usually true; even when it’s not, I pick myself up anyway. But these… these are different.

These are the fears that run through my brain like black horses on a moonless night, leaving reflective crescents of blood in their wake. These fears I don’t speak of, even in hushed whispers, for fear of waking their restless sleep, causing ears to perk in the inky night from a called name. They snort and huff to life, pawing the soft ground, muscles tensing, ready to run. pleasegodno

Ignoring such power does nothing. Ignoring such ferocious need only forces it into distorted and warped curves, starved for light and acknowledgment. Crumbed in the corner watching them stir to life and stretch, I am never so powerless. When I fight them, try and slam the doors shut on their lithe, dark muscles and the electricity pulsing through them…I fail. The trick is treading tenderly, carefully, and with love; it’s counterintuitive but it’s the only truth. There is power in the darkness of fear; harnessing it, taming it, loving it for what it is is the great alchemy.

Counting and naming fears shine a ray of light into the darkness. If I can name something, see it, even if only peripherally like the Pleiades before dawn, it becomes both more and less at once. A fear named loses some of its terrifying power, and begins the transformation into an integrated, acknowledged and loved part of your soul. Without exception, my fears are a stable of things of which I lack understanding.

Mine have names that have frightened humanity since we clicked the garden gate closed behind us. By far the largest, deepest prints in the stable belong to the finely shod hooves of Trust. Trust is followed closely by Doubt, and the two of them can make short work of my heart and mind, leaving me with webs of tears drying on my cheeks and struggling to remember how to breathe. It’s not that I don’t have good reason to feel that way- I surely do- it’s that I forget why they are there.

I have the keys to the stable. Trust and Doubt earned their place, but I forget I need not saddle-up and tear across the soft fields of my new life each time one of them wants to be let out. I am the rider— I hold the reins, even when I’m terrified— if I manage to remember, over the thick, distorting pound of my heart when I hear the restless pawing, perhaps can finally free us. Trust and Doubt, allowed to serve, not cripple, letting the tension and power exchange damning pain with inherent strength.

Perhpas… pleasegodplease… let me trust and not doubt.

6 thoughts on “Fear

  1. I can’t begin to know how you feel….I only know the woman that writes powerful, thoughtful essays of her life. You have done many hard things that have made you strong. This seems insurmountable, yet you have climbed mountains to be where you are now. One step, one breath, one day….you can do this. It won’t be easy…you can do this.

  2. Powerful imagery. Having fought the onslaught of pounding hoofs that are my own fears today, I understand the feelings. I am still in awe of your ability to master words, fears, and doubts. I am not so adept… Yet again, you help me take another breath and keep plodding forward.

  3. Beautiful… I know that good things are going to happen for you, not that it will be all “moonlight and roses” the horses will still run madly through that garden, but you are on such an exciting road of discovery! So many are cheering for you!

  4. I love how you acknowledge the fears, name them and their power, then remind yourself that you still have power over them.

    Yes, they are terrible; yes, they are powerful; no, you do not acquiesce. Keep stumbling on, dear, you are doing a wonderful work.

  5. Good Lord, if you never write a book it will be a crying shame. Slay your dragons, conquer your fears, bathe in success and then…write a book please. In all your free time. (You can do it in 7.8 seconds, right?)

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